The Venezuelan Government has notified us on the afternoon of February 17 that they have declared three of our consular officers personae non gratae. They were given 48 hours to leave the country. In accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Article 23 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the United States is considering what actions to take.
We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
The allegations against our diplomats by the Venezuelan government are baseless and false. Our Consular Officers were conducting normal outreach activities at universities on student visas, which is something we do around the world as a way to improve the accessibility and transparency of the visa process.
Venezuela’s political future is for the Venezuelan people to decide. We urge Venezuela's government to work to address its people’s grievances forthrightly through real, meaningful dialogue. The United States values its strong historic and cultural ties with the Venezuelan people, and remains committed to our relationship with them. With the OAS and our regional partners, we are working to urge calm and encourage a genuine dialogue among all Venezuelans. There is no room for violence by either side.